ORLANDO, Fla. — School bus drivers tested their skills here on March 6 during the 13th National Special Needs Team Safety Roadeo.
David O’Keeffe and Jacquelyn Turner of Clayton County Public Schools (CCPS) in Jonesboro, Ga., took top honors. Tammy Roberson and Tammy Labaro of Moravia (N.Y.) Central School District placed second, and Tyrone Pickney and Thomas Orr of Jasper County Schools in Ridgeland, S.C., placed third.
As SBF previously reported, O’Keeffe and Turner placed first in their state’s special-needs roadeo, enabling them to participate in the national roadeo.
Following Georgia’s roadeo, the teams expected the national roadeo to be more difficult since it is a competition among all of the top teams in the country. “Judging will be more intense and teams will have to provide more detail,” said Paulette Raper, another CCPS bus driver who placed in the top five in Georgia’s roadeo. “You have to tell them everything you are doing.”
National Special Needs Team Safety Roadeo competitors are judged in driving and backing a bus; loading, unloading and securing students in wheelchairs; and evacuating a special-needs bus.
During the skills events, teams must maintain behavioral control of special-needs students on the bus. There is also a written test that teams must complete prior to participating in the roadeo.
The 14th National Special Needs Team Safety Roadeo will be held March 11-13, 2011, in Kansas City, Mo. The competition will take place on March 12.
The roadeo is administered by Edupro Group and the National Association for Pupil Transportation and hosted by the National Conference on Transporting Students With Disabilities and Preschoolers.